His talent is not, he insists, originality of plot, going so far as to say his plots "could be found on an episode of 'CSI' or 'Law & Order.' " He's merely happy to take credit for doing what he does very well, which is to write meaty, morally ambiguous, thought-provoking crime novels centered in the seamiest parts of Boston.
No, his explanation for his success is simpler: Pure luck. "I am just the luckiest guy on the planet," he says. (If you suspect he used a more colorful word than "guy," you're right.) "Because I'm Irish, I keep looking at the sky, waiting for it to fall."
I confess I haven't read any Dennis Lehane, though I decided I ought to when the Moscow/St Petersburg Times compared me to him in this review. (They said: "The Gentle Axe" is closest to a contemporary crime novel -- more Dennis Lehane than Dostoevsky -- in its evocation of St. Petersburg as a hive of criminal activity, much of it catering to forbidden sexual urges.)
I want to read him even more now that I realise what a modest, self-effacing guy he is.